The month of September traditionally signals the end of summer and the beginning of the school year for millions of students across the country. For most kids, this means the days of spending a lot of times outdoors are through, as they will spend most of their time indoors, either in the classroom or at home doing homework.
But there is one school that’s proving students can learn many valuable lessons by doing a little hard work outside while benefiting their communities at the same time.
The Alternative Learning Center in Dubuque, Iowa certainly lives up to its name. They allow students to earn class credit in some pretty creative and unexpected ways — like performing some yard work.
It’s just one of the many activities students can choose from as part of the school’s unique curriculum. Plus, the activities count towards their Physical Education credit.
“The students and I and other students come out and help them,” teacher Tim Hitzler told KWWL at the end of the last school year. “Could be raking leaves, pulling weeds, cutting grass, cleaning gutters, just depends on what they need.”
This work isn’t just a unique way for these kids to earn school credit — as well as gain them some valuable home improvement experience — but they also get to improve their community. You see, all the yard work is done on behalf of people who couldn’t do it themselves, such as the elderly or folks with disabilities.
Without question, it’s hard work, but the teachers say their students love seeing the end results and knowing that they helped out a neighbor in need.
“The students aren’t typically too excited at the beginning but once they get involved and start doing the yard work they become more motivated. What they really like is helping people. They really like giving back to people and meeting the person.”
Last year, the students worked outside for a couple of weeks until the end of the school year.
Hopefully, this fantastic program will continue this year, and perhaps other schools will start their own programs like it because it sounds like a great way to teach children the value of hard work while improving their communities.
If you would like to see more schools do this, please share this story with your friends and family to get the word out.